You claim that one of the reasons the NT Scriptures are
reliable is because there were too many eyewitnesses around
that would have criticized and brought to light any
inaccuracies. I was curious as to how they would find out
about them. Did the disciples publish the NT texts?
'Publishing' did not exist in the same sense that it did in the larger
Roman cities, in which a special class of slaves existed to make copies
of manuscripts, but there WERE literary forms used quite often for this
purpose, and that was the 'open letter' to the nobility...Luke appears to
be such a treatise, made for general consumption, but addressed to an
upper class citizen Theophilus...
The first round of documents were the letters of Paul to the churches,
from 40-55ad...these circulated widely, and were available to anyone who
could make copies...
The gospels were probably written up in the 50-60ad time frame (except
John) and they somehow appear everywhere at once! (even John, written at
Ephesus, shows up in North Africa within a couple of years!)...
These works were available to outsiders as we know from a couple of things:
All the data we have says that it was available early...
Also, you have to remember that these Christian communities before 90ad
were parts of Judaism, and so, just as scribal documents would be copied
and available from ELDERS, so too these early Christian dox would have
fallen into that pattern...
they widely available?
I think I just commented on that above...briefly
Isn't it likely that the actual
eyewitnesses never really saw the NT texts at all, and
therefore didn't have any chance to challenge them (assuming
there were inaccuracies at all)??
actually, most of them probably would...
if the dox WERE in finished form within 20 years of the Cross (and in oral and partial-written forms much earlier), and if
they were developed within the Judaistic-synagogue environment (such as
Acts described) then the people (especially the leadership which always
followed Jesus around) would have had EASY access to it...remember Peter
and Co. taught DAILY in the temple about these things at first...
also, a great number of priests had become Christians early on, and
would have been interested in the written forms as well...
sorry this is so brief, and so late...but I really do plan to write a
major piece on this issue...I think its a VERY GOOD question...and thanks
for asking it...